A new study says that we may be able to “brainwash” ourselves into favoring health foods.
Speaking candidly, French fries smothered in chili and cheese taste way better than broccoli. And that’s why it’s hard for many people to maintain a healthy diet, but what if you were able to “brainwash” yourself into favoring healthy foods over junk foods?
A recent study found that we might actually be able to condition ourselves into enjoying the healthier options, therefore, giving us a healthier overall lifestyle. The researchers say that it's conditioning that trains us to reach for the junk foods instead.
The head researcher for the study, Susan Roberts, and her team put eight participants on a health-conscious diet combined with lessons on good eating. The subjects got half their energy from low-glycemic carbs and 25 percent from protein and fat, along with plenty of fiber. As a control group, they had an additional five people involved who weren't on the diet at all.
They scanned the brains of each of the participants, and the results showed showed changes in the "healthy" group's addiction and learning centers. They saw boosted sensitivity to better foods and decreased excitement over high-calorie junk food. This showed that it is potential to retrain your brain in how it thinks about junk food.
So, besides putting yourself on a healthier diet and learning more about the benefits of healthy eating, what else can you do to make yourself favor the healthy choices instead? Take your favorite guilty pleasures and turn them into a healthier option. If you love ice cream, go for the sugar-free ice cream instead. Try eating some foods you've never eaten before or ones you never liked them as kid, like brussels sprouts. Who knows? Your palate may have changed. Consider eating more slowly and trying to avoid distractions while eating like watching TV; it may distract you from realizing you are actually full.
Taking small steps such as these can be the first on your path to a healthier lifestyle.